Tennis: Andy Murray suffers crushing defeat in Monte Carlo


British number one Andy Murray succumbed to a heavy defeat as he was brushed aside 6-1 6-2 by Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round at the Monte Carlo Masters. Murray had won eight of his previous 12 meetings with world number 17 Wawrinka, but this time he looked far from his best as the Swiss took advantage of his rather weak serve. The defeat came in Murray's second match on clay this year and could well be a blow to Murray's preparations for this season's French Open.

Both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal progressed to the last eight while the defeat will make Murray fall behind Roger Federer in the world rankings. "Twenty-four unforced errors is far too many - a set's worth," said Murray after the match. "That's where half the points went. I started making a lot of errors - he was able to dictate all of the points from there. I've had tough losses on the clay before and I've come back well from them. Hopefully today will be the same." Murray is next scheduled to play at the Madrid Open, starting on 5 May, before competing in Rome in his final event before Roland Garros.

Wawrinka had to rescue a break point in his opening service game but then took advantage of Murray's tame serve to break the US Open champion three times in succession and cruise through the opening set. Murray tried to put up a good fight, he saved a break point at 2-2 in the second set, but he was soon subdued by Wawrinka's power, racing to 4-2. Wawrinka's victory was his third over a world number two after wins over Federer in the same tournament in 2009 and David Nalbandian in Basel in 2006.

The 28-year-old Swiss player will face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter finals. Eight-time defending champion Nadal will meet Grigor Dimitrov in the last eight after a 6-2 6-4 defeat of Philipp Kohlschreiber. Djokovic had a much tougher test as he came from a set down to win for the second day in a row. The world number one beat Juan Monaco 4-6 6-2 6-2 to set up a quarter-final against Jarkko Nieminen, who produced a big upset against Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-4). Fourth seed Tomas Berdych was also a surprise casualty, beaten 6-4 6-2 by Italian Fabio Fognini.

Rafael Nadal is the hot favourite to win the tournament but things so far have been quite unpredictable in Monte Carlo. If you want to take a chance by betting on the tournament winner, you should check out the odds at Bet365:

Rafael Nadal - 3/10
Novak Djokovic - 3/1
Richard Gasquet - 20/1
Stanislas Wawrinka - 28/1

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